Rovell: Sportsbooks Winning Big on NBA Title & Finals MVP Futures

Rovell: Sportsbooks Winning Big on NBA Title & Finals MVP Futures article feature image
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David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Durant.

Jason Scott, the vice president of trading for BetMGM, likes what he sees when he looks at his NBA futures book.

More than 80% of the money that was bet on teams to win the title has gone bust. The top five most-bet teams — the Nets, Lakers, Nuggets, 76ers and Jazz — have all been eliminated before the conference finals.

“We’re a small loser on the Hawks alone, but the books as a whole is in terrific shape on NBA futures,” Scott said Monday afternoon.

It’s the same story almost anywhere you go.

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Johnny Avello, head of DraftKings sportsbook, said roughly 78% of the money on teams to win the title has lost, with the Milwaukee Bucks on their own being a small loser.

“We were due,” Scott said. “We’ve gotten hammered recently with the favorites winning. The Dodgers hit. The Lakers hit. The Chiefs hit. I actually think people were playing the favorites more to win the title because it seemed easier.”

BetMGM’s MVP Finals futures book is also looking stellar.

That’s because 44.1% of the money was on three Brooklyn Nets — Kevin Durant (29.6%), James Harden (11.5%) and Kyrie Irving (3%).

The 76ers and the Nuggets being eliminated took out another 11.2%, with Joel Embiid (7.1%) and Nikola Jokic (4.1%) taking up a relatively large share.

A sportsbook having more than 50% of the money in-hand before a conference final is rare.

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